Historic Dunkirk Lighthouse

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The light was first established on Point Gratiot in 1827, and acted in tandem with a pierhead beacon to guide ships to the safety of Dunkirk Harbor. The current tower was constructed in 1875. Illuminated by a fixed third order Fresnel Lens imported from France, the light is the most prominent on Lake Erie's southern shore, with a visiblity of 17 miles.

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The tower measures 61-feet 3-inches, from its base to the cast iron ventilator ball on top of the lantern. The focal plane is 82-feet above mean lake level. A cast-iron spiral stairway leads to a 10-sided lantern.

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The two story, eight room stick style keeper's dwelling is an outstanding example of High Victorian Gothic. It currently houses a Military Museum, with rooms devoted to the United States Armed Forces: US Coast Guard, US Marine Corps, US Navy, US Army, US Air Force. It also has displays devoted to the Vietnam War, the Lighthouse Keeper, a Lighthouse Keeper's Kitchen, a bedroom, and Maritime History.

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The displays on the grounds include a 40-foot Lighthouse Bouy Tender, a 21-foot Rescue Boat, anchors, a Civil War Cannon, a Lighthouse Keeper's Rescue Boat, and more.

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The Dunkirk Historical Lighthouse and Veterens Museum complex is located on Lighthouse Point Drive, off NY Route 5, in Dunkirk, New York.  For more information, phone 716-366-5050.

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